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AUSD Resumes Distance Learning, Food Programs: Donates Protective Gear to First Responders

Monterey Park Fire Department Firefighter/Paramedics Jeff Wong and Ralf Weissenberger prepare for response, wearing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including N95 face masks donated by the Alhambra Unified School District. Photo courtesy of MP Fire Department.

Location

Alhambra , CA

The Alhambra Unified School District returned from Spring Break this week but in a way unlike any other school year. On April 2, the L.A. County Office of Education recommended that all schools be closed through the remainder of the school year. This followed up Gov. Gavin Newsom’s similar recommendation a day earlier.

Shortly after the LACOE announcement, AUSD Superintendent Denise R. Jaramillo announced that all district campuses would be closed for the remainder of 2019-2020 school year, which usually concludes at the end of May.

With that backdrop, Distance Learning efforts started up again after Spring Break with teachers checking in with their classes in a variety of ways, including Zoom. The district continued its efforts to lend laptop devices to families who need them, distributing 134 at the AUSD district office on Wednesday. Another round of student computer distribution is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to noon at the AUSD District Office at 1515 W. Mission Rd., Alhambra, 91803. Those wanting to borrow a device from the district must fill out a device check out form available on the district site. Since the decision last month to dismiss schools, the district has distributed nearly 2,600 computers to AUSD families.

This district site also provides a list of companies offering internet access. More information on the distance learning program with resources for lessons may also be found on the district’s site.

And in a reflection of the spirit of helping where you can, the district donated 1,000 medical-grade N95 respirator masks to first responders at the Monterey Park Fire Department and 400 such masks to the Alhambra Police Department. The masks came from district emergency stockpiles and it still has more than enough necessary surgical face masks for all AUSD employees who are essential and still working, including food service handlers, security and operations personnel.  

In addition, a number of personal protective equipment items from stockpiles at Alhambra High School and South Pasadena High School were shared in a joint outreach with USC Keck Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park and Pasadena Medical Partners. The PPE items shared were goggles, face masks and gloves.

The AUSD food program—Meals for Emergency Feeding— retuned this week on Tuesday and Wednesday at Marguerita, Granada and Ynez Elementary Schools. The district passed out 15,230 meals during those two days. Next week the district will be distributing on Mondays and Wednesdays only.  This link has more information on the schedule and necessary forms to participate in the meal program. The forms are available in English, Spanish and Chinese. Under the present guidelines, parents can pick up meals to cover multiple days and for several children during the distribution hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In an effort to abide by complex USDA regulations requiring some level of participant verification, those requesting meals are asked to fill out forms and place them on the dashboards of the cars. Some seeking meals are randomly asked about the number of children under 18 in their home.

The service is on a first-come, first-served basis and, since there is no pre-registration for the distribution, there were some reports of food shortages at the various sites. As it is difficult to ascertain numbers of meals to be served from day to day, the district encourages those seeking food aid to arrive early.

What is seemingly clear, is that the financial hardship from COVID-19 on many AUSD parents is real and emotions, in some moments, ran very high including some instances of confrontation at the lack of availability at the Grab & Go sites. 

On Tuesday, April 14, the AUSD Board of Education is scheduled to conduct a meeting at 6 p.m. either by conference call or teleconference. The meeting will be open to the public and those wishing to address the board will have an opportunity to do so. Please check this link late Friday for more information on the agenda and procedures for joining the meeting. 

Thank you for reading our story! Alhambra Source is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our newsroom reports fact-based quality journalism that educates, informs and engages our diverse communities - with no paywall. Support our mission and donate today!

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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